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Review The Watson Adelaide


A weekend getaway to Adelaide conjures up thoughts of fine food, wine, art and culture and what better place to experience all of this than The Watson, Adelaide.

The Watson is located about 5 minutes from Adelaide CBD, in the city fringe suburb of Walkerville just moments from the café strip of Melbourne Street. It's also a great base to explore Adelaide and beyond.


We opt to borrow the Art Series snazzy Smart car to explore the nearby Adelaide Hills, just 40 minutes from the hotel door. Our first stop is The Lane Vineyard, surely one of the most picturesque wineries in the Adelaide Hills. There is much to experience at The Lane Vineyard with a great cellar door, various tasting menus and fine dining restaurant, however I recommend you go straight to the Gathering Indulgence experience, a curated flight of occasion and heritage wines matched with tasty morsels prepared by Executive Chef James Brinklow and team.


The flight arrives on an impressive custom made tray and I'm taken through each wine with thorough descriptions and plenty of time to savour every moment. First up is the Cuvee Helen, made for the owner's wife Helen as thanks for her patience for entertaining such a folly as winemaking. I'm sure she doesn't mind at all sipping away on these first class bubbles! Next, the 2013 Gathering Sauvignon Blanc is paired with blue swimmer crab, avocado and wasabi roe, followed by a handpicked 2013 Beginning Chardonnay with gougere pastry, compte, Woodside goats curd & honey. Rounding out the incredible tasting is the 2013 Reunion Shiraz with chicken liver parfait, brioche, cornichon and finally a 2012 19th Meeting Cabernet Sauvignon with Vietnamese tartare, crisp shallot on rice cracker.

I'm not sure if it's the wine, the sun shining, the inspiring panoramic views of the winery or the delicious food, but I'm in my happy place. Sigh


Other wineries of note we visited in the region during a day of wine tasting are Pike & Joyce, Shaw & Smith, Petaluma, Hahndorf Hill Winery and Deviation Road, with plenty more to choose from.

After a huge day of wine tasting, it was a relief to return to The Watson and simply relax in the studio apartment with what else, but more cheese and wine from The Lane! The cheese & treats were acquired earlier from Adelaide Central Markets, a must visit while you're in town. The Markets are right in the CBD on Gouger Street, on Wed, Fri, Sat with free onsite parking.


My apartment is a welcoming bright white space, decorated with red accents to complement the bright Tommy Watson artworks that adorn the walls.

The fully equipped kitchenette resides along one wall of the studio and has everything you need for meal prep and more including oven, stovetop & microwave. The minibar is stocked with enticing treats and room service menu available from Local Grind or delivery from local restaurant Nest Bistro.


Having opened just over 12 months ago, the hotel is already showing signs of age, with marks on the marble benchtop etc and would benefit from a little maintenance. Service also needed a little polish. I received numerous calls prior to arrival including one asking what wine on arrival I preferred, so pre-arrival expectations were high. Alas, no wine was in the room on arrival and I had to sheepishly ask at reception whether they'd be kind enough to deliver it.

Downstairs restaurant Local Grind is a great café with super friendly staff who make a mean coffee, with Proud Mary beans and an excellent breakfast menu to boot.


I'm not sure why I thought a qualified art curator would be on hand to take me through the hotel's art tour, so I was a little surprised when the tour was conducted by the young receptionist. Admittedly it was his first tour but we wandered the hallways awkwardly and he wasn't able to elaborate much more than advise blue denoted life cycles and watering holes. I'd hoped for more insight to this great Australian artist, however there are also books on the artist in every room to browse.


The Watson is a fun, fresh home away from home and the perfect base to enjoy the art of fine wine in South Australian style.

The Watson
33 Warwick St, Walkerville
Book The Watson here.

The Lane Vineyard
Gathering Indulgence from $35pp

The writer was a guest of The Watson and The Lane Vineyard.
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